Senior Delhi Congress leader Ajay Maken on Sunday targeted chief minister Arvind Kejriwal for what he said was the government’s unpreparedness to tackle the growing number of coronavirus disease (Covid-19) in the national capital.
Ajay Maken, the Congress’ spokesperson, blamed the Delhi government citing several reasons including the lack of hospital beds for Covid-19 patients and tests.
“The Delhi government should have strengthened the health infrastructure before opening restaurants, shopping malls and borders,” Maken said in a virtual press conference.
The Delhi government has decided to open restaurants and shopping malls, as well as its state borders from June 8.
As he lashed at the Aam Aadmi Party government for indulging in “image-making and event management”, the Congress leader said state-run hospitals must be opened up for Covid-19 patients.
“Out of the 4,400 beds for Covid-19 patients in the hospitals run by the Delhi government, only 28% are occupied. And, in private hospitals 40% beds are lying vacant,” he said.
He also questioned the action against the Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, which he said has a 88% occupancy rate.
The Kejriwal government filed a first information report (FIR) against the medical superintendent of Sir Ganga Ram Hospital for not following protocols for testing Covid-19 patients.
Maken also raked up the report by the five-member committee set up to help the government in planning the augmenting of health infrastructure in the city.
“There are about 25,000 Covid-19 cases in Delhi currently and the doubling time is 14 to 15 days. This means, by mid-June, there will be about 50,000 cases and by month-end one lakh cases,” Dr Mahesh Verma, the committee’s chairperson, said.
“Now, assuming that 20 to 25% of these patients need hospitalisation, Delhi would need 15,000 beds by the end of the month and 42,000 by mid-July. We have not calculated beyond that,” he added.
One of the committee members, on condition of anonymity, has said there will be 100,000 cases of Covid-19 in Delhi by the end of June and it will need 15,000 beds by the end of the month and around 42,000 by mid-July.
The committee submitted its recommendations on the number of beds needed till mid-July for the treatment of Covid-19 patients to the government.
He also criticised the government for not giving the dead a dignified cremation. “Bodies lie in crematoriums for five days and are not cremated because of Covid-19 protocol,” he said.
The Delhi government is deliberately keeping the death toll lower, Maken also alleged.
Maken also that the 25% positivity rate in Delhi indicates the onset of community transmission and this was not the right time to unlock the city.
Maken said it was shameful that the Covid-19 positivity rate in Delhi was the highest in the country and its recovery rate the lowest. This is because Delhi hospitals are in bad shape, he said.
“It is premature for the Delhi government to open restaurants, malls from June 8 till health infrastructure is improved,” Maken said at a virtual press conference.
According to the Union health ministry’s data, there are 27,654 Covid-19 cases in Delhi and 761 people have succumbed to the disease. It shows 16,229 active cases and 10,664 people have recovered.